Tuesday, July 18, 2006

3 Months

3 months is:
... 1/4 year or
... 1 trimester or
... 1 work probation period or
... 1st milestone in a relationship or
... the time passed since I left Sydney.

Yes, I do have a job. Hrm, that's all I'm going to say about it. I really don't want to rant about work in this blog. The more time I spend in Rondon, the more I realise I didn't really come here for the work opportunities. It's more about lifestyle and travel for me.

It's been a hard 3 months. Made slightly easier by having close friends and PIMMS around. Everybody tells you it's easy. Finding a job is easy. Finding a place to live is easy. Money is easy. Wrong wrong wrong. I haven't found anything _that_ easy in Rondon. Even picking up my bankcard was hard. Getting my bankcard was like entering the Twilight Zone. You're told to go to a floor. On the floor, there's a room. Nobody's there. So you enter, and sit, and wait. Other people start filtering in, each instinctively sitting down in the room with you. You all wait together, not saying a word, remembering your place in the queue. Who's before you? Who's after you? Not really knowing what to do. Eventually someone comes and gets you. They give you a 5 minute fast-talking spiel about paying more to upgrade your card. You decline the offer, get your card and get out of there as fast as possible.

The one constant that's always made my day brighter, is my tech-savvy Mum :) When I was unemployed, she'd log onto Gmail Chat and keep me entertained for hours. Well, the hours outside of "Home and Away" anyway. I'll never regret teaching my Mum how to use email 6 years ago (I wrote her an 8 page document with step-by-step instructions and screenshots). Now she emails, Googles, SMS's and chats online constantly! Next step is to set her up with a webcam :)

I <3>
This evening B and I signed a lease and picked up keys. We move in on Saturday. One step closer to normality :)


Anonymous said...

Your bankcard story is strange. Completely different to Japan, where "the procedure" takes precedence over everything else, including common sense.

I was about 300km from my friend's house in Sapporo the other day when I realised my international driver's license had expired. Wanting to do the right thing, I went into the nearest motor registry office (there was ONE servicing an area larger than Sydney) to see what was involved in getting it converted to a Japanese license.

The guy who served me had a look at my foreigner card and told me that because I wasn't registered as living in this area, I couldn't use this paricular motor registry. The thing was, since I had been living in my car I was still registered as living in a place 1,800 km away. You want me to return there (with no license) and get this sorted ok? Ok....

So I did the next best thing. I looked up the address of a large nearby apartment complex on Google Maps, chose a random apartment number in the building and went to the local town hall to change my address.

Took the "proof" of my new address back to the motor registry, saw the SAME guy (I'm pretty sure he's the guy they usher to the front counter every time a foreigner walks in the doors. Whether he can speak English or not I never did find out) and he took me through the steps involved in changing it over.

If you think the story ends happily there you are wrong.

Turns out I need proof that I have held my current license for at least three months in Australia before coming over here. I explain to them that I have had my license for years in Australia, but because there is nothing saying so on my license they can't accept it. I point out that in order to get my particular class of license in Australia it means I have been driving for five years. No go.

So I have been complaining about Japanese procedures and so on but I can say this: IT IS 100 TIMES BETTER THAN THE SERVICE I RECEIVED FROM THE NSW RTA.

Not exactly true, because 100 times NOTHING is still NOTHING.

I emailed the RTA about this issue, stating clearly what I needed to do, asking what I had to do at my end. Nothing. No reply, no "you're going about this the wrong way, please cal this number," nothing. Three emails over a week and I still hadn't even received an automated response, so I got my father to give them a call. Apparently I need to fax them all this information, and pay for it online. WHY THE HELL THEY COULDN'T TELL ME THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE BY EMAIL I'LL NEVER KNOW. It has wasted a week for me here which I could have spent galavanting around the countryside doing things that I'm not allowed to detail on Reenie's blog.



reenie said...

RC, I've figured out what you are. You're a BLOG SQUATTER! :) Why is it you don't have your own piece of cyberspace?

Anonymous said...

he does have his own piece /pieces of cyberspace... Once, I was looking for the address of KC's blog, and i knew RC comments there, so i googled him and I found things i didnt want to find in forums i didnt know existed...


Anonymous said...

Actually I do, but I can't really publish most of the stuff on it until I have finished my Japan trip. It's not a diary-style, commentry-on-all-the-quirky-things-Japanese-do blog (because there is no shortage of these out there), but it's gonna be a how-to for travelling Japan in a van. There will be an "adventures" section too.

Bei - heh, you searched for me when you were trying to find Kev's blog? hahah, ok I guess reenie is right. I've got an idea which site you found, though I think you might have found the old one, where I used to post quite a bit. I still go to the new one, but I don't have time to post like I used to.